The Iterative Marketing Podcast Ep. 47: Why Brand Matters

The Iterative Marketing Podcast Ep. 47: Why Brand Matters


Hello Iterative Marketers! Welcome to the
Iterative Marketing Podcast where each week we give
marketers and entrepreneurs actionable ideas, techniques,
and examples to improve your marketing results. If you want notes and links to
the resources discussed on the show sign up to get them emailed to you
each week at iterativemarketing.net. There you’ll also find
the Iterative Marketing blog and our community LinkedIn group where you can share ideas
and ask questions of your fellow Iterative Marketers. Now let’s dive into the show. Hello everyone and welcome to
the Iterative Marketing podcast. I am your host Steve Robinson and with me as always is the quirky
and lovable, Elizabeth Earin. How are you doing, Elizabeth? I am well, Steve.
How are you? I’m doing great, doing great! Trying to decide if this weekend we’re
going to go and trade in our iPhones. For another iPhone
or something different? Yeah. So, we do the Apple Lease thing and we’re been eligible for months but the idea of transferring everything and we have to find new cases
and the whole rigmarole of that has just kind of held
me back from doing it. That plus there’s this thing in
the back of my head that goes okay, there’s the new Chrome Pixel and that looks like it’s
like a pretty cool phone and am I just buying iPhones
because that’s what I’ve had and is there other stuff out there I
should be experiencing and checking out and maybe it’s better
on the other side. So, much of my life’s
in Google, etc., etc. It’s a good question to ask. I wish that you could
test phones out more than just play
with them in the store. Yeah. I had that thought, I don’t know maybe a year ago,
a year and a half ago and decided to go get a Droid
and it was miserable. I couldn’t figure out
how to work it. You are so ingrained working
with Apple products and I don’t know about you
but I’ve got all sorts of Apple products. So, everything I use is Apple and to switch from an Apple product
to a non-Apple product threw my world in complete chaos and I couldn’t handle it and ended up having to sell
the phone at a bit of a loss to go back and get my iPhone and my husband loves
to say I told you so because he told me not to do it
and I didn’t listen. So, he gets to hold it
over my head now. So, maybe it’s not just
brand love for Apple. No. I think the reason that
there’s brand love for Apple is because they’ve got such a
handle on their user experience. Okay. And I guess we’ll probably go
and trade in our iPhones long overdue. So, what are we talking about today
if we aren’t talking about iPhones? Today we want to focus
on a different aspect and that’s the impact of
brand on your bottom-line. Yeah. This comes out of some
conversations we’ve had lately with some prospects
and even some clients that have really been pushing towards
attributable last-click sort of metrics and yeah we can do this program but it needs the cash flow
according to last click and we need to make sure
that everything pays for itself at the point of that last sale kind of to the detriment of any
effort going towards brand. I think focusing on that last engagement
is a little bit short-sighted and so today we want to talk
about connecting the dots between investment in brand
and measurable results. So, first I think it’s important
that we kind of talk about our definition of brand as it
pertains to today’s discussion. Everybody seems to have
a slightly different definition when they talk about
what does a brand mean. I want to kind of hone
that in for today talk about some benefits of the brand of emphasis on brand as well as how it can serve
as an insurance policy and then we’ll wrap up with
some actionable to dos. So, jumping right in, what do
we mean when we say brand? Well, I think for today’s discussion we can simplify what it means
to have a strong brand because that’s what we’re advocating
is investing in a strong brand we can simplify what it means to
have a strong brand into three things. First of all strong brand means that your target audience those who can and will maybe eventually buy from you are aware of your brand. It means that the
second thing is that it means that they have a strong emotional
feeling associated with your brand and third and I think
this is most important that that awareness and
understanding of your brand those emotions associated
with your brand they’re consistent among
that target audience because a strong brand not only
means a strong response but it also means a consistent
response across those who matter. So, we’re not just talking about
an awareness of your brand being able to recall your name but we’re talking about the emotions
connected with your brand. Yeah and we’re definitely
not talking about logos. We’re not talking about whether
or not you have a style guide and whether you have a pretty logo we’re talking about how your
audience perceives your organization. So, let’s jump in and start
by talking about how a strong brand helps us
accomplish more with less and then how it can help us when we kind of get into some
of those sticky situations. Yeah. As we go through those two topics we’ll talk about how this relates
back to those measurement points because we’re not saying
measurement isn’t important measurement is very important but how brand investment comes
back out through the numbers isn’t always as direct a correlation
as you might think it would be but it does come back out and I think that’s an important thing
to talk about as we go through here. So, let’s start out what are some of
the benefits of having that strong brand if you were to break that down into a
couple of points where should we start? Well, I think it starts with emotions because so many of us
without even realizing it our decisions end up
being ruled by emotions and that’s because we make decisions
based on the emotions that we’re feeling and we will take in information from
the rational side of our brain but more often than not our emotions are going to win over on anything
rational that we can argue. Yeah. I always love coming back
to that particular study where they had a gentleman who lost
his emotional center of his brain Amygdala I think was the part of his brain that
they had to remove surgically and he was as smart as he
was before that surgery but felt no emotions and the strange byproduct was
he couldn’t make a single decision. He was just deer in headlights anytime he had to choose
between two things because we think
we are logical creatures but the reality is that that logic
feeds through that Amygdala that emotional center of our brains. So, if you can create a really strong
emotional connection to your audience you have the ability to short-circuit
their decision-making because they don’t bother going
to get that logical information they assume it’s there and run with the emotional decision. Well, not only that but if you are able
to appeal to them and attract them on
that emotional level then you’re not competing
with them on a price level. Exactly, exactly because the decision has
already been made now they’re just working possibly
to rationalize that decision and they can do that through
why your product is superior or even people go to great lengths
to rationalize emotional decisions and so if you can get
them with the emotion then the rationalization will follow and they’re not sitting here
creating those pros/cons and price charts for
your product or service either literally or in their brain. I think a great case in point
coming back to that iPhone that we talked about earlier how often do you see
Apple stuff go on sale? Never. Yeah. It just doesn’t happen. Occasionally like Best Buy
will run a sale where they lose money
on their Apple stuff but otherwise if you
go to the Apple Store the price is the price because Apple doesn’t have to discount they don’t have to
compete on price they compete on brand. And you have to be careful because when you do
start competing on price or even using pricing strategies discounts and whatnot
to try to move product you have a big impact
on your brand. Yeah. It pulls you out of that
premium space pretty quickly. So, if we look at tracking this how does this come
out in the numbers? One of the questions that we ask is are you tracking your discounting? Are you tracking what that
impact is in the bottom-line? Because that’s a cost of marketing if you don’t have to do that because you have that strong brand
position coming into each deal that is measurable as an economic
impact of investing in that brand. So some of the things that
we would look for would be what’s your average sale size
or your margin on the sales and can you show
a correlation between brand strength and those
numbers over time. Exactly. I think the other big reason
that you get a benefit a boost from investment in brand is you’re investing in that
relationship in that audience before they’re ready to buy and that pays dividends over the
lifetime of the customer journey. Yeah. Not everyone you talk to is ready to
buy right in that moment in time and if we make that assumption then I think we lose out on
some really big opportunities but if we start early
in the relationship and we’re there for the entire ride before they even start
thinking about us up until they’re ready to
make that decision they’ve built up
that trust with us they have that affinity. Our brand already has
a place in their heart and so it makes it
harder for them to abandon us at the last
minute for a cheaper option. Imagine for a second you
have a friend maybe not a close friend but somebody you know
who is a handyman, right? You’re connected to them on Facebook they’re always throwing out these little
home maintenance tips on Facebook that you’ve gleaned a couple
of great things there and maybe you start a DIY project where you’re going to fix
something in your house and you reach out to
him for some advice and he helps you out with that without trying to sell any of
his services or anything and then all of a sudden
you have to do something that’s beyond your ability
as a handyman like place a door who you’re going
to reach out to? You’re going to reach out to
your friend of a friend that you’ve established this
trust in this relationship to even if probably you know somebody
who you know would be cheaper you’d still probably reach
out to that same guy. Definitely. I know I’ve done this in my life and this plays off of something that we read about in
one of our club books and I cannot remember
what it’s called it’s one of the laws. The Law of Reciprocity.
– Yes, that one. Yeah, that’s from Robert Cialdini. I can say this guy’s last
name really, I can yeah and that’s one of his laws
in his book called Influence from years ago it also plays on another
sort of tactic and that is the fact that if
you’ve been along that journey you are a known entity and humans are really
propelled by inertia we would rather go with the
known than the unknown we would rather continue
in a manner of congruence I think is the technical term where, okay, so, this handyman
that I know is my go-to source for
handyman stuff, right? And that’s where I go,
that’s where I go push the button on that
and get the food palate, right? Hm-Hmm! If I start to diverge
from that that’s friction and so if you establish
that relationship you become that known that go-to resource for that thing and your audience will
not diverge from that unless they are given
a good reason. It’s kind of like an object in
motion remains in motion unless acted upon by
an outside force going back to your high
school physics class, right? Exactly. You compare this to
your handyman scenario when you’ve got someone who you have now built this
relationship with this person he’s helped you
out a few times versus the guy who popped
up in your AdWords when you searched
for whatever keyword you don’t know who
that other company is you don’t know who that person is. I mean you see their name but like you said unless there’s something
really compelling in that line or two of copy
in that AdWords text you have no reason
to seek them out and instead you
are going to go with someone that you are
already familiar with. Right. You might do that Google search just to help you rationalize
the decision that you’re making you might come up
with those alternatives because you feel like if I don’t
then I’m not doing my job but the reality is you’ve already
decided where you’re going you’re just coming up
with the alternatives to help you build
that rational case. We see that impact on our bottom-line when we look at things
like time to close, close rates, cart abandonment these are all areas
that are impacted and we see the influence
of brand on these numbers. So, I think it’s a great time
for us to take a quick break. When we get back we’re going to
make one more final case for how brand really can
impact your results and your numbers
in a positive way before jumping into the what we
call the insurance aspects of a brand. So, let’s go help some people. This week we are asking that
you make a donation to Red Rover. Their mission is to bring
animals out of crisis and strengthen the bond
between people and animals through emergency sheltering, disaster relief services financial assistance and education. To find out how you can help please visit redrover.org
or visit the link in the show notes. If you would like to submit
your cause for consideration for our next podcast please visit
iterativemarketing.netpodcast and click the Share a Cause button. We love sharing causes that
are important to you. And we are back. So, before the break
we talked about how investing in brand can keep
you from competing on price by short-circuiting that emotional
decision-making portion of your prospects’ brain and we also talked about how
being along for the journey allows you to play off
of laws of reciprocity and some congruence positioning you as the known entity that’s sort of owed a favor
at the time of sale. Let’s talk a little bit more
about how investing in brand can actually end up
being less expensive than investing in those last
minute “Do” state tactics that we see all too often is the
focus of marketing plans. Definitely. I think this is a really
great point because so often like you said when we first started this episode people are focused
on those “Do” state those people that are
ready to buy now and that’s great I mean you want to bring them in,
they’re wonderful but the cost of reaching
that audience is so expensive and when you’re not competing
on that point of intent anymore you can buy that audience
at a much lower rate and so if you take a look at
AdWords bids for keywords like buy sewing machine needles online which has a very high intent you are talking about
buying them online with those something
that would be more like how to thread a sewing needle
or sewing machine you’ve got an audience who obviously
has a need for that product they may not have demonstrated
that intent to buy yet and so that audience is much – you can get it at a
much smaller rate and again if you stick with
them through the whole purchase then they convert and you brought them into your
funnel at a much less expensive than you would have if you had been
going after that high intent keyword. You see the same thing with
programmatic or Facebook advertising where if you’re bidding on audiences
that are high intent audiences either on the programmatic side they’re labeled intent audiences or on Facebook if you can find there are some places where
you can bid on intent as well you’re going to pay a lot
more for that traffic than if you’re just
bidding on interest because everybody else
is bidding on intent. Everybody else is trying to go there and so there’s a scarcity
to that traffic there’s a scarcity
to those eyeballs and that drives up that price. The irony is that if you can properly leverage
the eyeballs earlier in the journey there’s actually greater value there
as we talked about earlier through that reciprocity
and congruence. Yeah. I mean if they already
know who they are and they’re seeking you out they’re already informed about you they’ve heard about you
from somewhere else they have an idea about you and so, typically you’re not going
to need as much content to try and influence them because they’ve sought you out and so, in that way they’re more
informed decision makers and that can lead to
a shorter sales cycle it can lead to higher close rates and it also leads to
better customer retention if you’re able to follow through
on what you have promised. Yeah and those are hard metrics to
get your head around as a marketer because now we’re looking at things
that are really in the domain of sales or even customer service when we’re looking
at account retention but ultimately those play out based on what we’re
feeding into the machine here, right? So, if we’re feeding in prospects and leads that
are not right fit or who aren’t informed as to
what makes your company special that’s going to result in crummy
numbers on the other side. So, you have as much
responsibility to be tracking and looking at those numbers
as any other part of the business and you can actually lay claim
to having influenced them especially if you can back it up
with some surveys or some other data that can demonstrate how
you have produced better fit or more informed prospects
at the beginning of the process. Now you had mentioned that there’s
another reason to invest in brand and that had to do with limiting
you to downside risk. Yeah. I see brand as a somewhat
of an insurance policy and it kills me it just pains me whenever
somebody comes to me and says Steve, I need your help my marketing is broken it was working great and then all
of a sudden blah blah blah happened and now we don’t have any leads and you look at this and it’s usually an over-reliance
in some “Do” state tactic. Yeah. We’ve seen this time and time again and like you said it’s
heartbreaking to look at because it’s something that they
thought they were doing everything right they were going off of their metrics but a change in an algorithm can
throw their entire world for a loop and we had worked with a
construction services company that had been first in market and they were gangbusters. I mean they were getting it
and they were going after it they were doing a great job. That was all search, right?
– Yeah. All search, yeah.
– They had really nailed SEO because they were the
first ones in their market to have an online presence and so being first gave them this
huge advantage for many years. Until someone new came to market and then that advantage went away and was not fun times
around the office. Yeah, yeah and then another company
that we worked with they were sort of a stuck
in an AdWords loop they had really built a business that was really dependent on
AdWords traffic and Google when it changed the way that their search terms
operated within AdWords and all of a sudden they were
unable to produce that same traffic and their sales just dried up
and shriveled overnight. And this I mean I’d love to say that these are
limited cases but they’re not. I mean look at Facebook how many companies
used to use Facebook to put coupons
and discounts out to people and then Facebook
changed the algorithm and now that stuff’s not
being delivered anymore and they’ve lost this entire
channel that they had for getting their message out
to their target audience. And we’re not saying you shouldn’t
invest in some of these “Do” state tactics you want to be present at
the end of the sales cycle or at the end of the
customer journey when that person is ready to buy because if you’re not there you
might lose out on opportunities that you otherwise would get. However, we see investing in brand
as a great insurance policy against some of these other tactics because if you invest in your brand you get to a point where your
audience is seeking you out by name and even if your SEO breaks they’re still going to be
able to find you by name they might not find you searching for
blah blah blah construction contractor but they will find you when
they search for your name and so, it’s far less susceptible to
outside influences to algorithm changes or SEO ranking or AdWords policies or whatever else might
screw up that path that you had very carefully built from somebody’s intent to buy your
product or service to your brand if you skip that step
and they jump right to your brand because they know it,
love it, trust it that’s where they’ve been going and that’s where they feel
like they owe some debt to you don’t have to worry about
that middle piece breaking as much. Yeah, managing this portion
of brand really helps to prevent that
catastrophic downturn due to an over-reliance on
“Do” state advertising and ask yourself as you’re listening
to us talk about this what would happen if an
algorithm were to change? What would happen if a new
competitor entered the market? Are you currently positioned
to be able to handle that? I don’t want anyone else
coming to me again saying Steve, help me fix this,
it’s broken. So, what can we do as marketers if we’re in a position where
we are over-reliant on these “Do” state tactics and we really haven’t been feeding
and watering our brand? Yeah. So, there’s three sort
of things that you can do that you can take a look at today. The first one is looking at
personas and segmentation. If you don’t understand the
who of who you’re trying to reach then you are – I think you say this all the time you’re trying to boil the ocean and I take that to mean that you’re
just trying to do all of it at once and you can’t it’s just no one’s still
big enough to do that. So, no one’s budget is
big enough to do that. You’re not going to make
friends with the world and nobody has that budget right? So, if you’re going to
spend money on brand you really need to make sure
that it’s focused money you really need to nail the who
that you’re trying to make friends with whose hearts and minds are
you trying to influence who are you trying to get
to fall in love with you because you can’t boil the ocean. It goes beyond just
understanding the who you need to understand
their journey as well. You need to be able to understand
what it is that’s motivating them what decisions are they making what are they thinking
about during the process and by doing that you’re able to then insert yourself
with the right type of content the right type of messaging in a way that gets
their attention and builds up that
awareness with them if you don’t understand that if you’re just focusing on
features and benefits and just throwing information
out at them without understanding
what it is they really need and really want at
that specific point then you lose an opportunity and they’re going to tune
you out to one of the other hundreds of messages
that are in market. Yeah, this is key. I’ve worked with enough
people over time that have been focused
on features and benefits product or service this is what we sell how do we find people who
want what it is we’re selling and if you’re in that loop and in that loop, yeah, your tactics
naturally drift towards “Do.” To get out of that you have
to stop looking at how do we – where are people looking for
what it is that we’re selling to where are our right fit clients and what does their
journey look like and that’s a paradigm shift that seems subtle but it’s huge absolutely huge in how you look
at your marketing overall. And the last part that we didn’t
talk about in our three keys on how to get started with this
if you are stuck in that “Do” state is of the one that’s most obvious and that is have you taken the
time to define your brand? Do you know that personality? Do you know that emotion that you
want to create in your audience that’s going to make them establish
that awareness and love and positive emotional
attachment to your brand? And this is important because the key to making this happen the key to building that awareness and building that attachment
that you just mentioned is that you have to be consistent and if you don’t know
what you’re doing and you’re kind of jumping
from state to state with a different type of message and you’re not reinforcing that
throughout the entire customer journey you lose that opportunity. Yeah, they might know who you are but if they don’t feel something it’s not worth the effort. So, we talked about personas,
customer journeys and your brand the key action here is after you have at least something
in place for all three of those go through and audit
all of your marketing and make sure that your marketing is
addressing the right persona correctly and that you understand the
who and that you’re focused and that you’re not trying
to boil the ocean. Make sure that you are addressing
people at various states in their journey before “Do” and then make sure that every
touch point aligns with that brand that you have defined. If you do those three things then you get out of the “Do” trap you get out of this reliance
on these “Do” state tactics and you build your insurance policy and you set yourself up for far
greater returns in the future. Definitely. So, let’s wrap up today’s podcast. We talked about what
makes a strong brand and we distilled that down to
awareness, emotion, and consistency. The benefits of having
a strong brand are tied to short-circuiting that
logical decision making again that’s not how
we make decisions we are ruled by emotions and so, you want to find that opportunity
to connect with them emotionally so that you are not having to compete
on price or features or benefits. We want to be along for the ride
for that customer journey so we can vastly improve the probability
of a better outcome towards the end. We want to get higher quality sales
by spending less on media because we’re not competing for
those most expensive eyeballs that we talked about in the “Do” state We’re not competing for
those high intent keywords instead our audience
is seeking us out. We also talked about brand as insurance avoiding those catastrophic
disruptions in your channels that can make horrible
impacts on sales and instead getting your
audience to seek you out. Finally, we left you with some next steps to
get ahead of that “Do” state tactics and really work to start
building a strong brand. I want to thank everyone for making
time for us again this week we really appreciate it and until next week
onward and upward! If you haven’t already, be sure to
subscribe to the podcast on YouTube on your favorite podcast directory. If you want notes and links to
resources discussed on the show sign up to get them emailed to you
each week at iterativemarketing.net. There you’ll also find
the Iterative Marketing blog and our community LinkedIn group where you can share
ideas and ask questions of your fellow Iterative Marketers. You can also follow us on Twitter. Our user name is @iter8ive or email us at
[email protected] The Iterative Marketing Podcast is
a production of Brilliant Metrics a consultancy helping
brands and agencies rid the world of marketing waste. Our producer is Heather Ohlman with transcription assistance
from Emily Bechtel. Our music is by SeaStock Audio,
Music Production and Sound Design. You can check them out
at seastockaudio.com. We will see you next week. Until then onward and upward!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *